Story submitted by Lisa Knechtle-Jerkiewicz, Program Coordinator & Professor, Accounting Programs
The graduating class of the Business Administration – Accounting program from Kingston and Cornwall recently held the 5th annual virtual Accounting Hackathon in collaboration with national charity, Rise. During the hackathon, student teams work with an entrepreneur to brainstorm and resolve a financial issue in their business. Students were able to apply their freshly learned critical thinking skills to help a small business.
Entrepreneurs participating in the event are working with Rise, the only national charity dedicated to helping people with mental health conditions or addiction achieve financial independence through self-employment or small business ownership. Rise provides resources, mentorship and micro-financing to eliminate barriers, improve life outcomes and strengthen communities.
KEYS Job Centre partners with Rise locally to offer the program in the Kingston area. The entrepreneurs participating in the hackathon are either starting or growing their small businesses and each spent the afternoon working with the students to come up with a solution to a finance-related issue they are facing. The solution could an updated business plan, a set of projected financial statements, a cash flow budget, a template to help record day-to-day transactions, etc.
Entrepreneurship can be a solution to barriers to employment faced by Canadians with mental health or addiction challenges, as it offers individuals the opportunity to re-enter the workplace on their own terms. Through Rise, local entrepreneurs can access resources and support to help them succeed. The SLC Accounting Hackathon offers students a unique opportunity to bring their learning to life while helping contribute to these successes.